Portrait day can be a very, very stressful time if you have children. Finding the right outfit and a date that everyone is available on already causes you a headache. Once you have that down, though, everything is smooth sailing. You have prepared everything to be perfect, and then your worst nightmare happens Ė your child wonít cooperate. Even after youíve coached him or her for the past two weeks and the entire car ride leading up to the session, your kiddo still just isnít having it. Youíve tried all of the usual tricks and nothing is working. Sounds terrible, right?

Well, Iím here today to save you from this nightmare, and help you prevent this from even happening. Behold the power of bribery. I know some people frown upon this, however, they probably havenít tried to get a two, six, and 10-year-old to sit in one position together, look at the camera, and smile. Itís no easy task! As a photographer, Iím going to give you the green light and tell you that itís OK to bribe your kids for the sake of good photos.

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We have a very limited amount of time to get all of the photos that you need, and I donít want you to be stressed out or feel crunched for time because little Timmy is having a meltdown, is hiding behind his hands the entire session, or sticking his tongue out at me. So, I welcome bribery with arms wide open.

Every child is different when it comes to bribery. They all have different personalities and like different things. Some children are motivated by candy, others cash. You just have to find out what works best for your child.

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Here are some suggestions that weíve noticed have worked.

  • Candy or fruit snacks
  • Dinner at their favorite restaurant after the session
  • Later bedtime
  • That awesome toy theyíve been drooling over
  • Extra TV time
  • ICE CREAM (Kilwin’s is like three blocks from my studio)
  • Cash
  • Extended play time
  • They donít have to eat their vegetables that night at dinner
  • They donít have to do chores the next day
  • Give them back a privilege thatís been taken away the last time they were in trouble

While these arenít the only options, we thought weíd give you a starting point to brainstorm your own ideas to help get your child to cooperate.